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Join Myanmar as it ushers in year 1379! Myanmar gears up for New Year celebrations and Thingyan 2017

February 25, 2017 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

The countdown to Myanmar’s longest holiday and largest festival has begun as the mercury rises in Yangon. Thingyan, which literally translates into “transit”, marks the beginning of the Burmese New Year and is celebrated in a week-long Water Festival. The timing of the festival is calculated according to the Burmese calendar, which this year begins on the 13th of April and culminates with New Year’s Day on the 17th of April.

“Thingyan is an excellent time for tourists to visit Myanmar. Celebrated over four to five days, Thingyan showcases our rich religious and cultural heritage. It is also the best time to experience first-hand the warmth and fun-loving nature of Myanmar people,” said Daw May Myat Mon Win, Vice Chairman (Marketing), Myanmar Tourism Federation.

In a culture so closely intertwined with religion, the Thingyan Festival carries with it Buddhist rituals. On the eve of Thingyan, devout Buddhists are required to eat only one meal before noon. It’s also a time when observance days are respected. Across the country, alms and offerings are presented in monasteries and scented water is poured onto Buddha images in ceremonial washing.

The days following are replete with joyful anticipation of the Water Festival. Pavilions made from bamboo and palm leaves are built onto a stage, in preparation for live shows that engage a host of performers, from music to dance.

Another common sight on the streets of Myanmar during Water Festival is water-throwing. The celebration has been compared with Songkran in Thailand and traditional New Year’s celebrations in Cambodia and Laos, though deemed to be most animated of all.

Thingyan is the one time where it’s fully acceptable in Myanmar to douse one another, every day for four days, from morning until evening. During this period, which coincides with the hottest time of the year in the country, locals and visitors squirt water on others and themselves using hoses, plastic water pistols or other devices.

“Thingyan is about unbridled merriment and the water party is all around the country. Of course, tourists who prefer to go for the temple sightseeing can do so to avoid getting wet,” adds May Myat Mon Win.

As Thingyan is also a homecoming season that sees huge amounts of domestic travellers making their way home all over the country, advanced planning for foreign tourists during this season is highly recommended.

To encourage foreign travellers to join the activities during the upcoming Thingyan holiday, Myanmar Tourism Marketing is planning to set up a stage in Yangon from 12 to 16 April 2017 for travellers to join in the fun water party.

Myanmar Tourism Marketing is reachable by email at

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